Today the Lazarevsky District Court has adjourned the hearing of the criminal case against 8 officers of the Sochi OMON (special police force) charged with the mass beatings in the youth camp “Druzhba” when dozens of people, including minors, were injured. Chairman of the INGO Committee Against Torture Igor Kalyapin who was present at the hearing informed that the trial was postponed until 2 October. You may remember that in summer of 2006 the Committee Against Torture in cooperation with a number of Russian human rights NGOs carried out a public investigation into the incident and established the fact of a violation by policemen of Article 3 of the Convention (Prohibition of torture).
In addition, experts of the Medical Rehabilitation Center of the Committee Against Torture are currently working in Sochi with victims of the incident in order to establish possible consequences of the police mopping-up operation for their health. The victims will get the opportunity to undergo a course of rehabilitation treatment. And if necessary, some of them will be put in the Rehabilitation Center of the Committee in Nizhny Novgorod.
It should be added that today’s decision to adjourn the hearing was caused by the fact that seven defence lawyers out of eight failed to appear before the court. Lawyers of the Committee Against Torture believe that they deliberately delay the proceedings by sabotaging the hearings.